ALEANDRIA, VA – Carlyle Conwell “Connie” Ring, Jr., 90, passed away peacefully on August 19, 2021, at his home at Goodwin House, Alexandria, Virginia.
Connie Ring was no ordinary man. A man of strong faith, keen intellect, and passion for justice, Connie made lasting contributions to his community and profession through his personal commitment and tireless work ethic.
His adventure began on May 25, 1931, in Camden, New York where he was raised by his parents, Carlyle Conwell and Mary Lois (Tooley) Ring. He was the third of six children. He graduated from Jamestown High School. His father was the superintendent of schools there and instilled in Connie the value of a good education as a key to success. In 1946, Connie left his hometown to attend Hamilton College, where he excelled academically, graduating summa cum laude in 1951, with a degree in history.
Connie believed in the value of a liberal arts education. He was honored to receive the Hamilton College Bell Ringer Award in 2015 as an outstanding alumnus for “contributions made to the College, its alumni and the community.” Connie’s academic journey continued at Columbia Law School.
However, his plans were sidetracked when he met Jane Norwood Lee during a summer job delivering milk at Chautauqua Institution. Jane was also spending her summer in Chautauqua, but would be returning to her studies as a music major at Duke University in the fall. Highly motivated, Connie managed to transfer to Duke to be with Jane. The couple eloped in 1954, a secret that was held very closely and only revealed in 1994. The second, public wedding, held in 1955, was celebrated as their anniversary.
Connie and Jane moved to Alexandria, VA in 1956, where they raised their four children Donna Lee, Mary Elizabeth “Libby,” Russell “Rusty” Conwell, and John Roderick “Roddy.” Connie pursued a legal profession, while also serving his community.
He was an appointed member of the Alexandria School Board from 1969 to 1978, and chairman from 1976 to 1978. During this time, he was involved in the integration of public schools in Alexandria. Connie later held a seat on Alexandria’s City Council from 1979 to 1988. He also served on the Alexandria Redevelopment and Housing Authority for eleven years.
His success in public office was built on his personal integrity, persistence, and humility. He was happy to work in the background, share credit, and find common ground.
One of Connie’s proudest accomplishments was the result of his appointment by Governor Linwood Holton to serve on the Uniform Law Commission. As a commissioner, he chaired the committee that wrote the Uniform Computer Information Transactions Act of 2000, which was the only law to address valid contracts over the internet. He was also a lead author of the Uniform Commercial Code, Article 4A, related to wire transfers, which was adopted by all 50 states. He chaired the committee that wrote the revised Anatomical Gift Act as well.
Connie’s contribution to the City of Alexandria and its citizens earned him the honor of being named as an Alexandria “Living Legend” in 2011. His comment upon receiving this recognition was, “Happiness really comes from being of service to the community.”
His “commitment to the common good” was also recognized by Duke University, which selected him as the first recipient of Charles S. Murphy Award for Achievement in Civic Service.
Connie was an active member of Westminster Presbyterian Church in Alexandria among other jobs, chairing the 50th anniversary celebration, raising funds for the first elevator, serving as a youth advisor and elder.
Carlyle Conwell Ring, Jr. is survived by his wife, Jane, his four children and their spouses, Donna and Eric Moss (Towson, MD), Libby and Steve Lord (Stuart, FL), Rusty and Lori Ring (Alexandria, VA), and Roddy and Lisa Ring (Alexandria, VA); his ten grandchildren; and one great-grandchild. A funeral service was held on August 27, at 11 a.m., at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Alexandria. In lieu of flowers, the family requested that donations in Connie’s memory be made to Westminster Presbyterian Church at 2701 Cameron Mills Road, Alexandria, VA 22302; The Alexandria Symphony Orchestra at 700 N Fairfax Street, Ste 501, Alexandria, VA 22314; or The TWIG, P.O. Box 26324, Alexandria, VA 22313.
(Obituary reprinted from Legacy.com)